For me, its the learning itself. I get a new video game and I’m hooked… at least until I’ve got the system figured out. They never grab me enough to make me want to figure out all their deepest intricacies. As long as I can figure out how pretty much everything works, I’m good, and now I need to move on. And its an effort to pick it back up.
I’ve got three ideas for books in my head. I’ve started writing all of them. When I’m writing it feels amazing, letting the words flow out, but I just can’t get myself to do it most of the time.
Exercise is the same. I love riding my bike. Love roller blading. Love my YRG. But none of them make me excited just thinking about them. I love it when I’m in it, and afterward, but its so hard to get started.
Even work. At first, journalism was a challenge. Finding the stories, stripping them down to the essentials so it can fit in so many inches or minutes, its not easy. But after a while it is formulaic. And at that point I started looking around at all the rest of the crap that was tied into it. Too bad for me (and maybe for all of you), that stuff didn’t deserve me.
Lets take the guitar or piano. I can’t play either. But I understand how. I know what notes on the page mean what keys or strings, or I know how to figure it out if I don’t know it by heart. At that point, I got bored.
But bored is the wrong word. When I can get myself to do them (games, instruments, exercise, writing, whatever) I’m totally engaged. I’m in it and it has my full attention and enthusiasm. But they all lose that yearning. That urge to be done with whatever thing I have to do and get to the thing I want to do. How do I keep that fire once I’m past the learning stage? How, once the original challenge is gone, do I overcome the real challenge, getting myself to stick with it when there’s nothing obvious left to learn?
Yes, I realize there’s always more to learn. But its diminishing returns. Like everyone I want to see my progress. See the difference the learning makes. If it isn’t there, I have a real hard time getting started.
Do I just need to buck up, use my supposed store of willpower, pick something and work at it till I’m actually good at it? That might be it, it really might be. But I’m still of the opinion that I haven’t found it yet. The thing I’ve been searching for. That one hobby, skill or job that will make my brain catch fire and keep pulling at me when I’m away from it. I think its out there. I just hope I find it soon.